KTM Italy has released information about the new Super Duke 1290 GT, a bike that will show up in its finished form next month at EICMA in Milan. According to our virtual translator, this one’s “dedicated to a sporting public that, while traveling in comfort, wants to be always ‘Ready to Race’!”
Basically, what’s going on here is KTM taking MO’s 2014 Motorcycle of the Year Super Duke R and turning it into a quasi-Sports Tourer in the best possible way.
Instead of no fairing at all, the GT will have a frame modified to accommodate a good-sized eight-way-adjustable windshield, not unlike the one on the 1290 Super Adventure we recently tested in our Ultimate Sports Adventure Touring Shootout. A bigger fuel tank is designed to better shield the rider’s legs and increase range. A new handlebar will also increase long-distance comfort. The subframe’s been stretched to accommodate luggage and a passenger, and new seating for pilot and pillion alike is designed for increased comfort. A low exhaust system makes room for the right saddlebag.
We found little to complain about re: the SDR’s bodice-ripping 150-plus hp, 90-lb-ft-plus 1301cc V-Twin, but the new GT will be benefitting from an updated version with new heads said to improve combustion efficiency, and EFI retuned for enhanced “fast public tourism,” with three riding modes, Sport, Street and Rain. Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) will integrate Traction Control (four options) with four-option ABS (Street, Sport, Rain, Supermoto). Cruise control is standard equipment.
To go with the “We Brake for Nothing” theme, WP semi-active suspension will serve up four optional ride modes, choosable on the fly. LED daytime running light, cornering lights and “LED arrows” (we’re guessing that means turn signals) integrated into the tank add to the show. Of course, there will be heated grips and all sorts of other options like Hill Start Control. And for those who wish to minimize their carbon footprint, be happy that the GT will comply with Euro 4.
KTM versus BMW is our favorite border skirmish in years.